Cummins Ruled Out of Second Test After COVID Contact

Cummins Ruled Out of Second Test After COVID Contact
Australia's Pat Cummins, left, celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Ben Stokes during day four of the first Ashes cricket test at the Gabba

Australia have been dealt a significant blow hours out from the start of the second Ashes Test against England with captain Pat Cummins ruled out following a COVID-19 scare.

Cummins will be replaced in the Australian XI by debutant Michael Neser, while Steve Smith will skipper the side for the first time since his dismissal as captain in the wake of the 2018 Sandpaper-gate scandal.

The Australian fast bowler was ruled out after coming into close contact with a positive COVID-19 case in an Adelaide restaurant on Tuesday evening.

Cummins was deemed as a close contact by SA Health and will be required to isolate for seven days, ruling him out.

There had been speculation Cummins would need to isolate for 14 days, ruling him out of the third Ashes Test at the MCG, starting on Boxing Day but the isolation period is much shorter.

“We anticipate that he will be available to play in the third Vodafone mens Ashes Test at the MCG in Melbourne,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.

“Cummins is understandably very disappointed not to be able to captain Australia for the day-night Test in Adelaide.”

The late drama is a major twist ahead of the second Test with Australia leading the series 1-0 following a commanding nine-wicket win in Brisbane.

The situation may have worse for Australia with fellow bowlers Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc also attending the same restaurant but at a separate table outside and were not deemed close contacts.

Australia had already lost Josh Hazlewood to a side strain, with Jhye Richardson confirmed to replace him.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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